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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  December 8, 2012 9:00pm-10:00pm EST

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>> one of those remarkable services that the government has designed and funded in order to do what our democracy needs to do and that is to be sure again everyone has that access to be well-informed citizens and to be able to fully participate in all the things that our democracy has to offer. ..
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and i'm going to jump in. i found this book in the middle of the atlantic ocean. six years ago, in we are newed d.a. i embarked on a sailing ship. the ssv. i would be at sea for three weeks. away from telephone, internet, and physical libraries. i was in the middle of research project on ben franklin that required know read material at french. i tried to revive my french by
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reading a novel. i chose a small book "around the world in 180 days qghts. first pub -- i slowly made my way through the book. my french was good enough i enjoyed the story and as a historian i appreciated the period detail. especially the nature of the bet that sends protagonist racing around the world. at the london club, he marks offhand edly that scheduled travel schedules could take a world around the 180 dares. they said prove it. and it was conceivable by the late 19th century inspect the age of sail getting around the world had taking years on the speed of my sailing ship would have lost his bed. it was the invention of steam power and the creation of regimented european empire around the globe the opening of
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the suez cable and the emerge of commercial travel services that made it just possible by the 1870s do the global circuit in 80 days. the second thing that impressed me the story was how the material development that sped up global travel required a dramatically increased use of natural resources. when he leaves london he takes new passport. they board a night train which departed london when they let out a cry of despair. in the rush i forget to switch off the gas lamp in my bedroom. well, he replies coldly. you'll be paying the bill. the gas lamp is the novel's running joke. true, it's only a smawt h small part of the total cost. we present day readers quickly realize the joke is on us. we're the first generation that has realize the planetary bill
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for fossil fuel is going to be. in the era, coal was a costly but essential part of modern progress. yet he steam powered exploit set at the height of imperial remits a phase of the past that it truly history meaning over and done with. airplanes have replaced the coal-burning engines in ship that hurdle them around the world. the protected some people including him at the expense of others have been replaced with other political regimes. it's no difficult to cross the surface of the world in 90 days to fly around in hours if you can afford the ticket and get the passport and the have visas. when i returned from sea, back on land, i looked for his around the world travel. there was none. so i wrote one. [laughter] now, i very quickly decided very early on in the project that there was no point in trying to document all of the
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circumnavigations that existed. i didn't want to write an encyclopedia. i wanted to explain why a circumnavigation is distipghtive. why do we have the term "around the world" or circumnavigation. why does going around the world matter in the broader scheme of things? did it matters because it shows how human beings have been thinking themselves on a planetary scale for a long time. for nearly 500 years. this is really significant. we think the planetary consciousness is recent. something gopped in modern times. something we have and people in the past didn't. and especially associate the realization of things on the planetary scale with the ongoing environmental crisis, which we think of unprecedented which it is. the plan tear may go along with it may not be unprecedented. the circumnaters for a long time were by definition not only thinking of themselves in relation to the entire planet,
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but doing something in relation to it by going around it. circumnavigation is the oldest human activity done on the planetary scale and remarkably it's 16th sailers who did it first. so in the book, i define around the world travel as a geodrama. there the greek for earth go guy ya, and for action drama. within the european countries that sponsored the first circum1/2 nation. there was a established tradition of considering the world as a theater. this is an ancient greek idea. sustained through roman anticity and the renaissance and most famously in the shakespeare claim all the world is a stage. it was a metaphor around the world travelers made it a reality by presenting themselves as actors on a stage of planetary dimensions. over time, circum1/2 nation would be represented as dramatic
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entertainment. first in print then on stage and later in film. geodrama requires all of a human being. the entire body and the range of physical experiences in relation to the earth. that whole body experience of the whole earth is well documented in a counsel circumnavigation. which drived what -- describe what it felt like from agonizing to accelerating. most people never go around the world. most people have the idea of the statement that such a journey makes. for that reason, published first person accounts are the book's principle sources. together they institute the longest and most sustained way which people have been able to consider themselves actresses in go yo drama even as it has changed over time. the changes can be understood as three acts in the drama.
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three phases in human being's comprehension of themselves as actors on the planet. in the first act, which lasted from ferdinand magellan's to james cook's death in hawaii that is from 1519 to 1779. they so in fear. it was reasonable for them to be fearful given the dangers of such a voyage in the the age of sail which mortality rates hoovered in the 80th percentile. a lot of people tried to go around the world. the world simply slugged most of them off. the. ed in the initial phase the alongest death prevailed and fear was the response. for from the 1780s until the 19 250eus travelers who made their way around the world did so with a striking confidence that they could survive the experience. western society had generated technology and political networks that seemed to have
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conquered the globe. at this point, it was not only possible to go around the world. it had become a poplar past time. representation of doing a circumnavigation became playful, entizing -- enticing even joy us. there were costs. not all of them hidden. there seemed to be hidden glories making an swing around the planet. over the 20th century and now to the 21st century. the confidence has given way to doubt. technology logically now reforms of travel especially airplane and rocket propelled safe travel -- safe 19th century. equally, it's now clear that imperialism ha smoothed way for early under political and social conditions that would be unwise and unjust. above all, there's a growing sense of the planet as again beginning to bite back or slug us off. now that the environmental cost
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have begun to hunt us. we live with all three legacies of around the world travel. a reemerging fear that the planet could slug us off. continuing confident we might be able to generate technologies and political alliances to dominate the planet, but doubt that it is always wise to do dominate in this way. it's especially apparent that the characteristic confidence of the long 19th century was the shortest of planetary experiences. yet, has been the most difficult for us to relinquish. our current doubts seem to take us back to the fears of the early modern period, a circular return that matches the swing around the globe that themselves went through the three acts geodrama. there were more hopeful elements to the story. the bright moments matter to do and make clear that the human past is as complicated and contradictory as the present con decision whether seen on a small scale or a large one. even the largest of all, a
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geodrama in three acts. well, i wish i could introdisuse you to all of the characters in the book. all of the people, the animals, and even the robots that have circled the world. for a 500-year history, this would mean really going through quite lily a carbohydrate of thousands. i decided to read to you about a handful of folks from the wayneing years of -- waning years of confidence about going around the world. when the prospect of aerial circumnavigation which was done in 1924, raised questions about whether going around the world was getting too easy. and whether the older, harder, and perhaps much more dangerous ways represented something better, and if so for whom? there would suspicious of flying around the world was cleat cheating as the travel was challenging. in 1928, the birth the danish
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newspaper in partnership with the stockholm advertised that it would send a boy age 15 to 17 around the world to commemorate the famous novel. the boy had to be in good health, needed permission from his family, must speak english and german in order to do interviews. he was not allowed to fly. the canadian pacific railway arranged the travel and they paid the expenses. over 100 boys flocked the newspaper office in copenhagen. a girl called to protest her ineligibility. good for her. the staff eliminated all but the 159-year-old boys nap made their task a lot easier. and essay contest identified two finalists. both boy scouts. they drew straws. the winner went home to tell his mother he had a week in which to
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pack and get the facts. he was required to keep a diary and mail a telegraphic report. another obligation which was to meet and charm the political which made him to a advertisement for the canadian railway. a book appeared in the following year. it's hard to tell how much is holmes own. his comment on meeting the press in london. the reporters were awfully witty and we a lot of fun. the news room pros in copenhagen had given the final shape. but for the 44 days he went around the world, he was the star of the show. the premise of the journey was that circumnavigation was the boy's adventure. a good but not dangerous test of the character. that emphasis reinforced by the introduction to the english translation of the book which was written by a grown-up, stating around the world, every
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one of us has made the voyage many times in the imagine naingses. the introduction made a point typical ferdinand magellan -- it fast forwarded to -- [inaudible] who is reputation was beginning the dissent to that of children's author. the stories were challenging and faced much as a circumnavigation was now in the 1920s thought to be. the narrative claimed the mother had read the book to him as a child. and it was the only book he took around the world for the circumnavigators. gnchts the boy's own elementary of the story was present above all in the membership in the international fa tenderty of boy scouts. they marked a peek -- for the adventure bother boy scouts is probably not a coincidence. a scout is never without a home the narrative concluded.
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being received whenever he goes in the entire world. and indeed he was the guest of the scout master of japan and met scouts everywhere from tokyo to everywhere. other aspects emphasized the youth rather though atically. arrived back in copenhagen. two policeman had to carry him to the niewp office. the juvenile drama clie climaxed during the return. in london he attended a gala lunch within the head of the pacific railway and met the founders of the boy scouts. when he was in paris, he saw around the world in 80 days. popular stage version of the novel that had been playing for decades. he watched the copy of the novel being printed for him bound in gold and em bossed with his name on the cover. he then met jewels grandson who
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escorted him to the grandfather's grave. there surrounded by local boy scouts he read the message in memory of him from the greatest admirer. adult world circumstance leers at the time avoided aviation in order to make some counted of kind -- some kind of point. bicyclest who were not of the powers began to rebrand the bicycle as a peaceful mean way to see the world. for example, circumcycled the world from 1901 to 1904 gathering newspaper accounts as he did so. but because he did not publish the own narrative had. he remained better known within asian than beyond. he was pleased to welcome to japan three fellow asian psychers. a trio of young indian man who did a world tour on bicycles to show india's equality with other nations.
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the three young men were members of the bombay weight lifting club. they were in very good shape when they left home on bicycles in october 23rd, returning in march of 1928, five years later, having covered 44,000 miles and demonstrated to the sons and mothers india were courageous as the children of any other nation in the world. in making that point about other india, the three men revealed the several kinds of goal societies that assisted this them in the 1920s. the first was the british empire. not an on choice in some sense of paradox one but the bicyclist were anxious to make clear that the british passport and a letter of introduction from the british governor had been critical to the passage through europe. whatever the private feelings. they saved their criticism for french in to china. where they claimed to encounter racism on parallel.
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they routinely stayed at branches of the ymca, the equivalent for the grown men of boy scouts and cheered on by enclaves of indians who instituted the south asian over most of the globe. a consequence empire and kind of -- a different and similar manifestation of internationalism supported them in this clutch of circumnavigators. the international and support him on the later surfaced tour of the world. he came from a privileged russian family. that was of no help when he found himself on the losing side in the russian civil war during that revolution. as a white russian stranded stranded in china he was a man without a country. so destitute he made his way to shanghai, overhand and a mix of men and women in cast off
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slothing. he obtained a passport. a document that the league of nations had begun to issue to stateless refugees initially russians in 1922, a first step in the development of international refugee law and policy. the international office of you are fuji in 1938. he yearned to rally members of the non-- and wished he could do something akin to lindberg's recent flight across the atlantic. 1928 he decided it was up to him too a tattered equivalent to go around the world alone by bicycle. luckily he didn't have to do that actually. he departed shanghai on a battered secondhand bicycle but then upgraded to a new bicycle in ban cook and a battered secondhand motorcycle. it gave a new motorcycle and a letter that guaranteed
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assistance from area offices around the world. the publish account thanked the worldwide services of the ymca, shell oil, and the fire stone company. he dependented on the goal availability of gasoline, oil, and tin food. the array much industrial good and services that were now spread almost everywhere in the world. like the circumcycling with the south asian he made the transend with the encouragement of many white russians. above all, there was the pass port for which he was unlikely around the world ambassador. the document raised eye brows at start of the journey, once it bore an expressive they stamped without suspicious. he arrived back in shanghai two years after the day that i set out with my passport, no visa, a broken down old bicycle and
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twenty dollars. he fulfilled the promise to continue to make a full global circle on the same motorcycle. so there you have it. a very, very small sample of the unusual people who have somehow found necessary to go around the world. very different reasons. so thank you. and any questions? [applause] >> when i heard about your book or heard about circumnavigating i think of people heading out east or west. are there any tails of people going -- tales of people going north or south? >> yes, thank you. a circumnavigation has a classic circumnavigation has one unusual element. it's the only form of time travel ever been proven to
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exist. as you go around east or west you gain or lose a day, right. so if you go over the poles you don't lose a day. there isn't the time travel. to honor that distinction, there is such a thing as a transglobal voyage that is going around the world but it's not like a classic circumnavigation in the element of time travel. the first polar circumnavigation transglobal voyage was done by aircraft in the 1960s by a small plane called "pole cat" that flies around in that direction. later on in commemoration of the commercial anniversary pan a.m. does a deluxe transglobal flight. only one time in history in the 1980s has there been a transglobal expeditious done by land. it's that hard. we have been to the moon several times but only team lead by the
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british has gone around the world on the global surface. which sounded miserable. it must be said. it has been done on the polar route. mostly aviation. thank you. >> [inaudible] because you mentioned that -- [inaudible] that kind of contraption. >> aerial. >> sorry. aerial. >> even so . >> it was a company possibly named i guess i never looked for the reason. it might be a family name. i guess shakespeare. [inaudible] >> that would have been very nice. but -- motorcycles at that point had amaze dpli powerless motors. so this was a step up from the bicycle but only just. yeah. yeah. >> can you tell us something about the illustration.
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>> yes, the title of the book is taken from shakespeare. it's he will put the girdle around the world. no one has down that even in orbit. the stietle "round about the earth: circumnavigation from magellan to orbit." my pubture -- publishers gave me the scantily clad guy running around the world. [inaudible] air travel made it easier and i guess some people tried to make it harder. i mean, amelia earhart went from west to east around the e equator. aassume she was trying to do the most difficult thing. did anyone ever go beyond that, you know, in air travel? she was looking to do something -- yeah. >> that was difficult. >> yes. there had been increasingly fast
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serial circumnavigation from 1924 the first done by a team from the u.s. army air corp. eight men and four planes. so that guaranteed somebody would finish. it was that dangerous. there were other national teams try dog it at the time. the good news was none were killed. no one even finished, that was the bad it's hard to break that. if you go faster it's not quite the endures test as much as you would need to fly around the world. if you do it slower, who cares? what happens with the eight-day record being set. people start to notice it's not
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really what we could call a great circle. the equivalent of equator. people were sticking to the northern hemisphere. earhart said i'm going do it around the equalitier. she was trying do something more difficult which no one tested. it was a strain. so in honor of her, i will state that was an honorable death in terms of trying to make a planetary record that was quite dangerous at the time. i don't know what you would mean by more dangerous than that necessarily. again, the records keep falling. concord, the super sonic aircraft, i think, hold the record for fastest fly around the world. no longer commercially available. we'll see in the future. i think even in the 1920s there was a realizization that flying unless you were doing
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something arduous in a almost military sense flying seems a little easy with commercial aircraft. from that point on ward you see the growth of kind of stunt circumnavigation. the younger the person, the more unusual the transient, the bizarre the animal companions. that's currently what we work with at this point. yes? -- [inaudible] say that the stories -- [inaudible] figure out what the world is or was. they were making -- i'm interested in how the definition of the globe or the world changed in the period of historical in circumnavigation how it ends up our concept of global that we have today. >> i actually am not so interested in global because i think that's very well studied. everyone kind of understands. global is social and looking at
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human relations that exists through different kinds of -- planetary is physical or natural and that's really what i'm interested in tracing. is how peoples' idea now just the physical planet in the abstract how each individual human body working the technology can kind of measure it the determine something in relation to that. i think there was an accumulating form of knowledge through each of the three period. it was well understood why commanders of the early maritime circum1/2 dpaition they were going to do something danger yours and everyone understand it was what you did. by the 19th century, the idea was to stay alive. everyone thought it was a grand new goal, team actually did work. interestingly another goal would be not to harm anyone you meet along the way. which is not something
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uncharacteristic there in the early time period. circles the time planet was no longer a dangerous violent thing is the first historic transformation. then again as it gets easier and we're more aware of the technology that are necessary to keep making it easy, that's where the doubt has come in about what kinds of technological achievements are necessary to actually physically dominate the planet? and whether that is actually the end of good development. [inaudible] the navigation that they would lose like two or three ships on a journey and there's been the recent discussion in the press about whether or not we have found the remains of amelia earhart in terms of tracing the metal of the plane. in your research, ask you come across anybody who said we found
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evidence of the remains of so and so's ship or, you know, evidence of where they were and that sort of thing? >> every once in awhile. one of the early mysteries that was solved in the 20th century was the fate of will peruse. a french circumnavigation that set off in the 16th century. wasn't known until through kind of a reading of folklore in part of poll poll pohl kneesha db that times comes to light. earhart remains a mist republican. there's claims what are has been found and what it will prove. um, i guess as far as my own research went, those kinds of discovery never answered a question that i was asking. we already knew about the
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disasters. that's what integrated my story about the love of danger and the perception of that. everyone knew earhart had gone down had been lost. that is actually the most dramatic part that integrate in to my story. what exactly wept wrong? well, maybe we'll find out. i might have to add that in when we find out. [inaudible] the airship has been around in 1929, it was great feat but also by air. i'm wondering there was some question, i mean, it was the first and i think circumnavigate lighter than aircraft -- i'm not sure. >> not the last. it was the first. it was a deluxe around the world. i forgotten the thousands of
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dollars in 1920s that tickets cost. it was expensive. but perceived as the very grandest way to travel in the time. people always remarkinged that the travel was unique in the luxury. there grow. another thing like concord, we don't have -- it actually it may have been physically dangerous. there was a stretch when they go over siberia. they have no radio contact with anyone. that spooked them. that was actually not what people would have expect bid the 1920s. when radio communications would have been, of course, the latest in the way you get information and know where you are. and crossing the pacific, siberia and crossing the world's biggest ocean by zeppelin was kind of breathtaking. so not without danger. it's interesting when they get
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to los angeles, the air row -- arrow ship captain said don't knock. he needed the sleep after the long stretches of anxiety. the most recent record or achievement, the more recent records achievement with a balloons have wait the until the 1990's for the first time a balloon, not a zeppelin that has an air ship that has a motor the balloon that doesn't have a motor made it around the world. two men took it using, at this point, not radio but satellite information about weather. that's the key. so you to absolutely know the wind pattern in order to get a balloon in the right way you're not only traveling in the right direction but not over territory where you don't have the right to be entering. and since then, there enter been various balloon records. solo, faster, it's sort of
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interdebt. how can we do it unusually now? lie is a, hi. >> hi. be it's fascinating. i'm going get a copy for my dad. i was really interestinged by your examples of these. you explained that circumnavigation is a privilege, basically. you gave wonderful examples of unusual access to privilege like being a subject of empire, for example, being a white russian how the refugee it's interesting. i wonder if you had app example of the limit of the privileges. you have the limit on cases there's some from the other side you don't have access to those -- [inaudible] you continue have the right status to be able to circumnavigate. >> interest imply, at the start of the story, a lot of people who go around the world is not privileges. we think of it being glam
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glamorous. the status of ordinary sailor in europe a the time. they were slightly above slaves. they were considered people without real skill who were so desperate they had to duoto sea. there's a way in which, you know, i'm not sure that all of magellan's men may. what we consider a voluntary choice. that remains pretty standard. especially on military ships that go around the world. men have been impressed. they are not there voluntarily. i look at the sadly common phenomena of the captive circumnavigator. the person who is taken against their. usually to provide some kind of navigational information. it's possible the first person go around the world was in the category. a slave owned by magellan a malaise man named enrique. gelg took because he would give information about asia once they got there.
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magellan dies in the philippines he runs for home. the poor guy. the captive circumnavigator remains a stock character until the 18th century when they stop taking people for information against their will. but there's still are a lot of people who go around the world probably not voluntarily. the first global health mission a vaccination campaign. they san diego ship around the world dispensing vaccine from or fins. thigh take along or fins as -- they probably did not make a decision that's the way they wanted to see the world. again, glamorous idea but a lot of people who industrial doing it by the 18th century not so glamorous. i think the last captive circumnavigator is interesting. the last so far. it would be the soviet dog. the first effort creature to
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travel the world. and send to the death. that practice stopped after there was international outcry about doing it to a dog. that's the last example. but there's kind of a robust history of people who probably don't people and animals who don't want to be doing this nevertheless there they are becoming historically famous for going around the world. so there's a -- those are my -- it's interesting i'm not sure there's a case necessarily as the people who choose to do it and the entities that actually don't. >> [inaudible] i was wondering the people who were cycling around the world. what kind of route are they taking. i was interested about -- the -- you're using example of indian guys and i was wonder physician there -- if there was any kind of exclusion in certain
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countries in the 19 20*sz. >> they only describe that for french and china, they claim that otherwise they're okay. but it's true that cycling around the world you have to take a kind of unusual route. first of all,ss a it's an fib use. they had to be careful about the territory they go through. it remains the same case for the people that want to do it now. you have to piece together the visas carefully. the first person to cycle around the world doesed in the 1890s. on a -- bicycle that has the enormous front wheel. so again, you have to make a real point of doing this. [laughter] and he gets in to trouble in turkey where he's turned back. and then he continues on he manages to get through there, and then he's turned back in afghanistan. he insists a i'll be okay, really, and authorities just
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laugh at him and say you're going back. so he has to take long route through a sea channel to get to india. definitely anyone's circumnavigation is always a map of global political relations, definitely. and i think the cyclists from the late 19th century on ward were the pioneers in figuring that out. if you didn't take commission steam ship that were part of the navy, you had to figure out am i citizens or subject of. who is going let me in to their territory? no one -- see, people neglect the southern hemisphere because it's so much easier. >> i'm sorry? >> there's no water. easy to cycle across australia. >> well, people have done it since. the first man to walk across -- walk around the world goes over australia. with a mule. an at that point, this is 20th
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century. he could get food and water more easily. yes, the surface travelers, i must say, are some of the touchest, if not the most mean-spirited people in the world. you have to be that way. it's hard to do both physically and i think socially to put yourself at risk constantly like that. it's a bloody-minded thing to do. i'm not -- i don't sense among people you're going go off and do it. [laughter] any time soon. or maybe so. >> [inaudible] the dangers and the -- i guess what -- what did both -- what are some do you have some stories about the local people how they reacted to these adventures and how they may have
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supported them the government? are there other tales the difficulties that travelers have with the people that encountered on the quest. >> constant. yes, yes. that social friction or political friction is always there. it's very clear that it's imperialism that really helps white travelers get around the world. that it's having that kind of political control over strategic territory that makes it actually possible. that's one reason it gets a lot easier in the 19th century. earlier the european mariners couldn't have expected that anyone would welcome them in a lot of different parts of the world and that definitely makes it harder. i think the -- that a lot of mariners tie-dyed of because they couldn't get to land. it was a political problem more than it is a natural one. by the 19th century, it's -- that gives access.
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increasingly there's resistance to that especially i are from nices that are not part of empires and fear they might be sort of nudged in to the empire and they're not actually welcoming to western travelers. why should they be? it's interesting, when people do start doing what i would call stopt circumnavigation faster than ever. more unusually than before, they have to telegraph to help publicsize what they're doing. they often write for newspaper. that's often how they pay their way. they comment they'll come to some new town someplace and everyone knows they were on the way because the local newspaper said so and so left vienna and they would know about when they would arrive. that seems to be global. so you can see that even in parts of asia, where people are reported as a arriving in different part of india or japan. and it's a more nuanced kind of arrival. people are curious, they may be
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admiring, but there is sometimes resentment that this is being done under political conditions that obviously a local population would not want. [inaudible] >> sorry. >> easier now politically; right? that's not related to the empire. people do it for fundraising now in terms of getting visa and the bureaucracy necessities my impression is it's much easier now. >> easier for some people. again, it's not cheap to travel around the world. that is beyond the consumer capacity of most of the world's population. it just is. and you need to have a certain kind of passport and ability to get the visa in the first place, which is again why it remains minority an experience. easy for some, i would say in terms of global society not
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actually distributed to any white extent. so i guess that would be my response. and in terms of doing the surface travel that has become the vogue, that's still pretty difficult. finally, i haven't talked about space very much, that's pretty hard. only five -- only 500 people, i think, at of this date have gone in to space and not all of them really in orbit. that's a very exclusive club. in terms of around the world travel. that remains the case. we'll see if that actually changes or not. [inaudible] a question -- do you have a favorite character? a favorite navigator? >> which would be leaving out everyone else? one person who comes to mind, because i actually wrote this book in some ways as a
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environmental history began looking at the human relationship to the planet within i was interested by the 20th century in the people who began to suspect about going the world was not a good idea. it demonstrated a mastery of the planet that may be we shouldn't be demonstrating it. so i'm fond of sailor in the 1960s [inaudible] he's a wonderful writer. was an incrediblingly gifted sailor. he enters the first around the world saying race and nonstop sailing race. you have to do it all without assistance from land. you can get radio communication. that's it. nothing florida and no one's foot can touch the deck. pretty tough. he was actually in the lead during the race, which was funded. there was a big prize set up by the "the times" newspaper in london. they was in the lead he decided it is a useless if not
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pernicious gesture to go around the world as part of commercial competition. he throws the race. he was in the lead and said i'm going keep going even though he was past the point where he could have going past the port. he does another halfway tour of the world and stops in tahiti. who wouldn't? [laughter] so that's interesting. and i really admire him. and i recommend his account. a wonderful writer, and a daunting consciousness of human relationship to the planet. it was quite interesting. thank you so much. [applause] is there a non-fiction author or book you would like to see featured on booktv? send us an e-mail at booktv@v or tweet us at here's a look at books being
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published this week.
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now from albany, new york we hear about the state-mandated. it promotes cultural initiative through author presentations, film screenings, workshops and more. >> see each of them just vividly as i could see the posters. i'm donald faulkner. i'm director of the new york state writers institute. what we do, what i do is kind of intellectual. we bring a lot of writers through to albany to do readings. we do a number of other types of
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programs. events writing workshops and film series and programs with young writers and summer institute we run in czar tow saratoga. adventure but this thing ruined everything. >> go far and wide. find the west writers we can. it's like bringing the world to the particular place, and i don't think -- i can't think of any other organizations even some of the better known ones in major cities that have such a regular flow of creative talent coming through and at no cost to the public with our open-door policy. so we bring the little rare -- literary world to albany. all these people's names and places and dates and events is are people who have come from
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far and wide to read to the general public here. and we had somewhere -- my most recent count is up to ten or probably eleven across the years ranging to tony morris who used to teach al albany to most recently the south african writer. and along the way -- or the caribbean writer derrick, or the irish poet. the names go on, but along the way, we archive all of by video and audio all the people that come through. we left the footprint, they left
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a footprint, and the institute was founded in 1983, officially became the new york state writers' institute in 1984 and over the years we've had more than a thousand writers through. >> my for was a raved are a vid conservative that actually worked at the convention. and she couldn't gate room, she ended up having to stay with me. and she brought a sign. she was holding that said, w stands for women. and i said -- [laughter] you can stay but the sign has to go. [laughter] >> as a result, we have a extensive archive of the writers, the readings, interviews with them, and i guess we like to think of ourselves as perhaps becoming the c-span of literature. i don't know we'll see what happens with that.
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we're about to roll out ha is in essence a virtual research library. all of the vid yoap and audio we collected over the years, we're told by many people it's a most archive of comp temporary writing they know of in america. one of the thing that helps is writers themselves and know what makes a writer comfortable to respect a writer that has come through a visit and not treat that writer like some sort of circus side show. and to engage that person in conversation. we often like to say in joking among other -- ourselves we invite writers to dinner and we just have these couple of public events on either side of the dinner or some gathererring after one of the public events.
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what really happens is sitting down and having good conversation. it brings writers back. it's actually one of the things that people most appreciate about the writes' institute. they will be respected as writers. i remember one writer saying you go to some literary readings and you think, gosh, i'm glad i got through that. let me catch the next plane out. you go to the writer's institute and you find yourself saying, wow, that was good. i hope they invite me back. >> the teachers been a vacation across the country, instead of going do see sea world and disney land they visit historic sites. when i turned 15 i visited -- [inaudible] independence. got to read "grapes of wrath" and visit sign stein beck's
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home. i think living on the road for family vacation three months in a trailer got me interested in american history. >> literature comes very important thing in community. as a one friend used to say, a writer is someone who has readers. i always thought it was a good simple line. a good simple definition of what writer is. but that effort of creating a community through an art form and enhancing that community and enhancing that general imagination makes having a writer's institute not only worth it but i think a very important. and what we have done, i think, across the years, we have not only exposed people to excellent artwork and writing in particular, but we have educate people to become more descript -- to become more effective
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judges of what makes something good. and people read. people buy books. it's a very book-loving community. and i think the writes' institute has done a lot to enhance that. even on some level create the environment in which people could explore literature especially. i think that there aren't enough programs like this around the country. i wish there were more. the literary community in albany is quite rich, and we are in the feedback loop with it. i don't think such an operation is the write's institute could have been created in the first place without there being not only a strong group of writers formed sort of an -- toward colombia where a lot of new york city writers have weekend holmes
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all the way up to saratoga and beyond. we have places like the writers' colony there. the writers' groups in hudson, new york. east to west and western massachusetts, and west to syracuse. that's the audience sort of circumference that we work with. so when you go back, and you find a general population quite proud of albany's connections to henry james and irwin or even bread heart, a story writer, or just, you know, a little bit further east over to emily dickinson or a little bit further south to say hi to the friend walt witman or edith gourdman.
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when you have the sense of the cultural heritage, it helps to amplify writers own senses about being part of a larger story. through the whole sense of little rare tradition. there's this rich ground that is here already. and then the writer's institute comes in and becomes a beacon, it becomes a magnetic pull, it becomes a resource to make the rest of that -- [inaudible] but becomes something that feeds the whole system. it gives fuel it's fuel to the fire of peoples' imaginations, and it's very rewargd to -- rewarding to see that and encounter that. to see people in the writing workshop really catch fire with the own creativity because they
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have been given stuff to work with. they have been challenged by excellence they have been able to see themselves. for more information on this and other cities on the local content vehicle's tour go to so arthur goes on trial in december of 18 pay. -- 35 he is egger to win a conviction. by this time mrs. thorton is going forward and come to the defense of her alleged assail i can't and says in the trial at arthur never lifted the ax she never believed he intended to hurt her she felt safe in his presence. he was just -- and she wanted the it to go away. and he did this and this and managed to get ore people to override the testimony. so arthur is convicted.
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there's only one punishment for that which is the death penalty. and so arthur bowen goes on to death row, and? january of 1836, is sentenced to death. and with the clock ticking, mrs. thorton does something even more -- it was amazing snuff enough she had testified on arthur's behalf on criminal trial. she starts out recruiting her friends in high society and she was very prominent woman. many prominent friend, easy access to the leadership of the country. she weptd to the vice president van buren and said use your good officings with the president jackson, tell him he should pardon arthur, you know. his mother is very good and, you know, she


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